During placement

Establishing expectations and understanding placement requirements is important for the successful progression of the placement. On this page, you can find steps that will guide you through the placement.

  1. Set objectives and complete contract

    During the first days on placement, students should meet with their external supervisor to discuss each party’s expectations of the placement and a contract should be prepared outlining the aims and objectives of the placement, hours of work, skills to be gained, nature of the supervised activities, reporting arrangements, responsibilities of supervisor and trainee and methods of providing feedback. The document must identify the core learning experiences of the placement (skill development, observational experiences, clinical work, etc.) as verifiable goals. Students should develop their own contract using the template shown in Appendix 4 and found on SONIA (see appendix 2 for instructions). This contract should be completed via SONIA, electronically signed and dated by the student and the external supervisor. Contact the Placement Coordinators if further information is required.

  2. Outline placement duration

    Typically, students spend 15 hours (two days per week) on each of Clinical Placements 2 and 3 until they have been on placement for the required number of hours. It is difficult to provide students with an exact indication of how long it will take them to complete Clinical Placement 1 (PSYC90012) as the requirement is 80 hours of face-to-face contact with clients and so the pace with which that placement is completed depends on the number of clients seen and frequency of client sessions.  As an estimate Clinical Placement 1 takes approximately 5-6 months to complete.

  3. Attendance at Case conferences

    Attendance at Case Conferences is a course requirement when a student is on Placements 2 and 3. At Case Conferences students share their placement experience by presenting clients they have been working with.  Cases are discussed with clinical academic staff present to contribute to the discussion. This provides students with a forum to develop skills in formulating case material and presenting to other clinicians.  Case conferences for students completing other placement subjects is scheduled for every Thursday during semester 9-11 a.m. Further information about Case Conferences is available from Dr. David Spektor.

  4. Sign student logbooks

    Please ensure that your logbook is signed by your supervisor regularly. By regularly we mean every 30 hours of placement or fortnightly or whichever of these comes first. (E.g. based on two days a week on placement, this means the log book should be signed every other supervision session).

  5. Supervision of placement

    Supervision of placements should involve on average one hour of direct contact for each full day of placement (includes telephone and video conference). Usually, for a 2-day/week placement, at least one hour per week of formal supervision is expected, with the other hour of supervision provided on an ad-hoc basis or via other mental health professionals on the team or in group supervision. Both students and supervisors should be aware that any clinical documentation prepared by the trainee (e.g., case notes, reports and letters) must bear the signature of their supervisor.

  6. Concern about students

    On that rare occasions where supervisors feel the student is having trouble reaching competency or there are ethical and/or professional concerns, it is imperative we act early so that we can put an action plan together. Please see Appendix 5 for example of pathway for addressing concerns regarding placement competency.

Additional information

  • Guidelines for Supervisor
    • Energetically orient the trainee to the service (e.g., relevant staff members, equipment, physical environment, processes).
    • Clearly establish the student’s role within the organisation, including details of the work expected.
    • Develop a relationship with the student that facilitates frank and open discussion of difficulties and potential problems.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to the supervision relationship (e.g., by prioritising supervision appointments and making supervision arrangements explicit from the outset).
    • Provide concrete and detailed feedback on all aspects of the student’s performance (including observation of the trainee in action) on a regular basis.
    • Attempt to directly sample the student’s work via observation as often as possible.
    • Provide an opportunity for the student to observe the supervisor, and other staff, where appropriate.
    • Provide the student with “model” reports and provide detailed feedback regarding report writing where appropriate.
  • Assessments

    Mid & End-of-Placement Report

    • This is to be completed at a mid-placement review meeting (described below) and again at the end of every placement.  This document includes a section completed by the supervisor assessing various aspects of the trainee’s performance.
    • Dr. David Spektor as the Placement Coordinator will organise a mid-placement meeting between the student, the placement supervisor and the University.
    • Shortly after commencing, a Placement Coordinator will also contact both students and external supervisors earlier to get an informal progress report, to ensure that any problems with the placement are detected sufficiently early.
    • The final piece of documentation that needs to be submitted (in addition to completed log book and completed mid/end of placement review) is a brief 300-500 word placement summary, which describes the student’s placement experience, learnings and reflections.
How to use SONIA

Once you have signed up to SONIA with your username and password, there should actually be no need for you to log into SONIA again. In fact, we recommend that you do not. Instead, any time your student has a document (e.g. placement contract or logbook) ready to be verified and acknowledged via your electronic signature, you will receive an email, which asks you to “edit form.” You will need to click on these words and then follow the below instructions.

How to login 1

How to login 2

How to login 3

Approving Placement Contract

You will receive an email alerting you that a Placement Contract needs your attention. Please click on the link via the words “Edit Form” and you should then be able to review the placement contract, edit if necessary and approve via electronic signature and date. Then click Submit.

Approving placement contract image 1

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Then click Submit.

Approving the Log Book

Please only approve logbooks via the link sent in the notification email that states your supervisee has submitted a log book to be approved.  You will be notified by an e-mail when your students submit a Log Book. If you click on the link in the e-mail, the log book form will open.  The email says: Student has a log book that needs to completed. Edit Form

Approving log book image 1

Attention: Some browsers do not show the link as highlighted but where it says “Edit Form” please be aware you can click on the words “Edit Form” even if it is not highlighted.  Once you have opened the log book, you need to review the form and approve it by clicking on Supervisor Acknowledgement.

Once you have opened the log book, you need to review the form and approve it by clicking on Supervisor Acknowledgement.

Approving log book image 2

Approving log book image 3

Approving log book image 4

You will see the cumulative hours under the Current Cumulative hours table. 


When you approve the log book, student’s cumulative hours in SONIA will be updated by the Current Cumulative hours.

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Need Help?

David Spektor
External Placement Coordinator
t: 03 8344 2627
e: clinical-placements-psych@unimelb.edu.au
Christina Bryant
Director of the Clinical Program
t: 03 8344 2627
e: cbryant@unimelb.edu.au